Thursday, October 7, 2010

Adding Facebook Social Plug in

I've used the Facebook Connect social plugins to provide a comments feature to my website blogs (see: Blog comments using Facebook connect social plugins).

The reason I added this was because of the way that I create my blog. I use Wordpress as my blog engine running on my WatkissOnline web server, but then depending upon the category, some of the posts are exported to the First Aid Quiz (Health, Safety and First Aid related) website and some to the (Linux, computer and technology related) website. This works well except for one feature, the comments are not available except on the main Wordpress site. Technically it would be possible to show the comments and even to create a proxy system to submit comments, but this would need a significant amount of time to develop properly. So I looked at what other options were available and came across Facebook Connect. This provides a number of facebook social networking features that can be integrated into other web sites.

There are a number of advantages to using Facebook such as:

  • Easy to add to your web site (only a few lines of code)
  • No additional data protection regulations (Facebook is responsible for those)
  • Encourages other Facebook users to know and engage with your web site

It is the last of these that is very appealing.

There are some downsides as well such as:

  • Lack of direct ownership of the comments
  • Does not directly build your potential customer base - although creates alternative in form of "fans"
  • It is only going to be as good as how well your users trust Facebook (which is working at alaying fears over privicy at the moment)

I believe that the potential benefits more than out way the negative aspects.


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